Academic Essay: Is television A Bad Influence On Children?
The television has become such an integral part of homes in the modern world that it is hard to imagine life without television. It provides entertainment to people of all ages especially children. Children love to watch TV and prefer to stay “glued” to the TV screen all day, rather than playing outside. In the USA, 47% of children ages 2 to 18 years have a television set in their bedrooms. On a typical day, they spend on average of 5.5 hours using media, including television, computer games and the Internet (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001). TV is the number one after-school activity for 6 to 17 year old. Although television is loved by children and has helped them a lot, it has influenced them in a negative way. Some optimistic people can argue that children should be allowed to watch a lot of television because it is educational. Preschoolers can get help to learn the alphabet on children’s programs such as “Takalani Sesame” and grade scholars can learn about wildlife on nature shows. However, with the increased rate of working parents, most children come home from school and are left alone or with a babysitter who may not care what the children watch on TV. With no supervision nearby, children may end up watching shows with violence, sex and bad language. Children that view such shows are likely to fear that the world is scary or that something bad will happen to them. Furthermore, the children will start to show aggressive behavior or start to behave like what they see on TV. (Bandura & Ross 1963) Another argument put forward by opponents could be that children have a choice on what to watch and how long they watch television. However this argument is unrealistic because most children do not have self discipline. They would rather watch something entertaining than a documentary about nature or history for example. They would rather watch the latest “Rambo” movie which is...
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Bandara, A. Ross, D. Ross, A (1963) “ Imitation of film-mediated aggressive models” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66:1, 3-11
Kaiser Foundation (2001) The role of Media in Childhood Obesity, Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, CA
Duncan, D (1999) “Raised by TV (influence of television on children)” Sojourners, September 1, Collum
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